November 01, 2006

Overheard at The World Fantasy Convention

This is a feature that appears periodically, as we attend conventions and overhear things.  The tradition of keeping track of anonymous overheard bits and bobs started for us at the 2002 ConJose in San Jose, where trying (or trying not to) fill in the blanks on overheard conversations made us laugh so much that we made it a tradition.  However, we didn't overhear much that was both memorable _and_ repeatable in polite company at the World Fantasy Convention this year in Austin!

"I don't care how many books he's written -- if he won't sign these he's dead to me."

"And of course a White Russian is a solid, blue-collar workingman's drink."

"Riding down the elevator, three girls asked me what convention I was part of.  When I said, 'The World Fantasy Convention,' one girl excitedly asked 'Does that mean there are porn stars here?!!'"

Notes from a DVD Geek

by Jeremy Lassen

Another month has flown by.  Have you watched all those movies you had intended to watch?  I know I didn’t.  But I do have a few that I can recommend to you.  First up is a Lovecraftian horror film shot in the Ukraine, directed by Mariano Baino.  This is NOT a J-horror movie of similar name, and this is not your average DVD release.  The 2 disk special edition from Indy DVD label No Shame features a replica Cthulhu amulet, 48-page booklet, commentary, documentary, deleted scenes, director's intro, several short films and a bunch more.  If you don’t want to throw down for the expensive set, there’s a single disk version of the movie as well.  But it doesn’t have a Cthulhu Amulet, so you know which one you should be getting, right?

Speaking of crazy super special editions from No Shame, don’t miss The Emilio Miraglia Killer Queen Box Set.  This set features a Miraglia double feature – The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave, and The Red Queen Kills Seven Times.  Both of these rare giallo films feature scores by Bruno Nicolai and have never been available in the US in widescreen or uncut editions.  To add to the sheer craziness of this set, No Shame has packaged this up with a Red Queen action figure.  Fun stuff for the whole family!

October Bestsellers

1) Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
 2) Blindsight by Peter Watts
     tie with
     The Machine's Child by Kage Baker
 3) Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
 4) Spellbinder by Melanie Rawn
 5) Cruel Wind by Glen Cook
 6) The Spirit Gate by Kate Elliot
     tie with
     World War Z by Max Brooks
 7) Hunters of Dune by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson
 8) Sharing Knife by Lois McMaster Bujold
 9) Zima Blue and Other Stories by Alastair Reynolds
10) Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke
      tie with
      American Morons by Glen Hirshberg
      tie with
      Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris

 1) Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
 2) Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
 3) The City, Not Long After by Pat Murphy
 4) Paloma by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
     tie with
     Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
 5) Shadowmarch by Tad Williams
 6) Protector's War by S.M. Stirling
 7) Learning the World by Ken Macleod
     tie with
     Matriarch by Karen Traviss
 8) Wizard of London by Mercedes Lackey
 9) Witchling by Yasmine Galenom
10) Singer of Souls by Adam Stemple
      tie with
      Runner by William C. Dietz

Trade Paperbacks
1) Snake Agent by Liz Williams
 2) Catalyst by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
 3) Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner
 4) Trial of Flowers by Jay Lake
 5) Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones
     tie with
     Salon Fantastique, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

Origin of the Bookstore, Part the First - Captain Jack's Tale

For the next twelve months we'll be doing a special feature each month in honor of Borderlands' upcoming 10th Anniversary (November 3rd, 2007).  We'll share some stories about what Borderlands is and how it got that way.

Captain Jack's was the funky used clothing store that occupied 866 Valencia Street from 1994 until 2001.  The store's owner, a Mr. Hale, was also operating a massage therapy studio in the back of the store. Conveniently, Mr. Hale was looking for someone to take over his lease. (He'd had enough of the used clothing business, he told us, and wanted to move to the Santa Monica beach, live in his van, and become a stand-up comedian.)  Hale was uninterested in the used clothing inventory he was leaving and just wanted to go.  So Borderlands took over the lease and began excavating 7 years worth of used clothes in preparation for turning the place into a bookstore. A frantic month of progressive mark-down sales and kind-intentioned booksellers (who had never in their lives sold clothes) lying through their teeth to shoppers, ("Does this look good on me?,"; "Um, I suppose so . . . uh, sure, lime green with aqua polka dots really suits you!") followed.  Finally, all of the old suits and the cool Che Guevara t-shirts and the feather boas and the fearsome 70's polyester cut-to-the-navel shirts and the size 12 high heels and especially the lime-green-and-aqua-polka-dotted monstrosities were sold, or given away, or snuck into customers' bags when they weren't looking.